Feb. 26th, 2013

On Yahoo

Feb. 26th, 2013 02:43 pm
kruzo007: (orang laughing)

Lot's of controversy about Ms. Mayer rushing to kill off the working from home folks. Speculations, "why is she doing it"? Nossik thinks this is some strategy to get rid of the dead wood who got too comfortable doing nothing. If that's true,  it's plain stupid.  No need to invite people to the office to fire them. And no need to bring them in to find out whether they are useless. All of them have supervisors, peers, etc. Any person with corporate experience knows this. She is not stupid. Nossik is wrong.
Another version - she is trying to "shake up" the company. Much needed shock to the system... Again, highly doubtful. This more like like stub to the heart for a Silicon Valley company -- anybody worth keeping will get pissed off and leave. Engineers I mean. Just a wrong thing that goes again the culture not just of Yahoo, but the whole region.

What I think is happening is actually quite simple. Marissa is managing. She is managing the best she can.

Let me explain.

It has been widely publicized (by her mostly; oh well, at least she is yet to write a book on how to build a carrier) that she is a workaholic who used to work 130 (sic!) hours at Google at first, and 90 hours are the norm to her. I believe it. She looks like one of those marathon running, hyper-multitasking, learn a new language on the plane while handling 3 conference calls at once types you run into at the upper echelons of the corporate world. (Typically de-facto single w/o children btw). So I can see how  the atmosphere of complacency at Yahoo (where most good people left long ago and those who need a pay check and a quite place to work stayed) is deeply offensive to her. The question is, what to do about it? How to get those folks to "sleep under their desks" and work 90 hrs. How to energize the soldiers? Never the easy topic.

I once had  a lecture in B-school taught by a 4 star general, former Head of Joint Chiefs.  The guy was 5 foot 6. When he walked, in civil clothes,  we stood up. When he spoke we listened. When he stated, we believed. If he asked us to do something we would...

So this is  where big words like  charisma, leadership, vision comes into play. The ability to lead PEOPLE, not projects.
The trouble is, Ms. Mayer ain't got them.  With due respect, Marissa looks, and more importantly, sounds  to me like Gilly from SNL, but that's just me.

On a serious note, here is something Steve Tobak back in Aug 2012. Pretty far sighted, IMO.

She's got such a rock star reputation that people seem to forget that
Mayer has only been out of school for 13 years and her only experience
was more or less a rocket ship to the stars. That means her ability to
handle obstacles and adversity and lead a turnaround in a highly
competitive market is untested. It also means she may only know one way
of managing, the Google way. And that may not transfer to a company like
Yahoo. One size does not fit all in the corporate world.
I think we're seeing a brilliant, talented, ridiculously driven and
hard working person whose choices and behavior have been rewarded to an
extend that most of us can't imagine. In other words, the universe is
saying, "You did great; keep doing what you're doing."
Since her talents and motivation are unassailable, that only leaves her
limited experience and behavior. And therein lies the rub. In her
behavior, I see both good and not-so-good signs. I see fearlessness and
strength, but I also see some grandiosity and immaturity. If she can
learn to temper the latter, to develop some humility and gain some
perspective, I think that would bode well for her and Yahoo's future.

So far, does not look that way. Oh well, don't shoot the manager. She is doing the best she can.

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